When the leaves fall from the aspen trees and the first flakes of snow trickle to the ground, it’s a special time in Colorado. People grab their boards, their poles, and look to the white-capped mountaintops to go frolic in the newly transformed winter wonderland. With so many natural parks, glacial lakes and rugged forests to explore, Colorado has a wide range of winter activities to fill any vacation.
By far the most popular winter activity in Colorado is skiing and snowboarding. There is nothing that compares to the exhilaration of sliding down a mountain amid the beautiful Rocky Mountain scenery. Hitting the slopes is as easy as an hour drive from Denver, too. Winter Park, Georgetown, and Summit County are all within easy traveling distance, and with Summit County you have your choice of resort; Keystone, Breckenridge, A-Basin, and Copper Mountain – each with their own accommodations and gear rental options, including snowmobiling.
Ice skating is also a lovely winter pastime and can be found in an urban setting in Denver, Fort Collins, or Boulder. For a more natural backdrop, however, head to the 40-acre Evergreen Lake just west of Denver and skate among the pines. Or consider Breckenridge, Vail, Beaver Creek or Crested Butte as alternative winter parks awaiting your arrival.
For the more adventurous sort, recent winter activity trends are the resurgence of the age-old practice of dog sledding, and the fairly new sport of ice climbing. Though these may be for those seeking more of a thrill, they are fast growing in popularity and are available throughout Colorado. For the thrill of the wind against your face and the camaraderie that comes with man and dog, head to Snowmass, Breckenridge, Winter Park, or Steamboat Springs and get ready to holler “Mush!” For ascending the icy peaks, however, nothing beats a trip to the mountain town of Ouray to scale the imposing Ouray Ice Park. Thousands of climbers head here every year to experience the world famous Ouray Ice Festival in January.